Hampi, India - Site of The Vijayanagara ruins
The Vijayanagara ruins are listed as the Group of Monuments at Hampi as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Although this website is about Goa, we took an excursion into Karnataka to visit Hampi, India's premier Vijayanagara archaeological site. A journey back in time to the 14th century. The excursion schedule was for 2 nights / 3 days (including travel) -
Hampi, India was the 14th century capital city of one of the world's greatest ancient empires of the world. Today Hampi, India is a world heritage site where archaeologists are still unveiling previously unknown treasures and preserving the enormous site full of beautifully preserved buildings and monuments.
Day 1: We took an interesting 9 hour day (sleeper) train journey from Margao, Goa to Hospet, Karnataka, the nearest large town to the site of Hampi.
In the evening we were free to explore the town of Hospet.
Day 2: Hampi, India. We were escorted by a guide called Prakesh who had been part of the archaeological survey team that has been working around the site over many years. What Prakesh didn't know about the site wasn't worth knowing.
We visited the main attractions as we only had one whole day to see "everything".
Sites we visited, saw and photographed were:
(The) Mustard Ganesh: About 3mtr (9ft) high monolithic stone carved statue of the Hindu (Elephant) god of wit and wisdom, the son of Shiva and Parvati. The true name of this statue is Sasivikalu Ganesha.
(The) Peanut Ganesh: About 6mtr (18ft) high monolithic stone carved statue of the Hindu (Elephant) god of wit and wisdom, the son of Shiva and Parvati. The true name of this statue is Kadali Kalu Ganesha.
Hamakut Hill: Overlooking the Virupaksha temple and the northern area of Hampi and the River Tungabhadra.
Hemakutam (Tricota) Temple: A Hindu temple that is a typical example of Jain religious architecture with three sanctum.
Virupaksha Temple: A temple with an (about) 50mtr (150ft) high, heavily ornamented, renovated, 6th century tower. The shrine is still in use today and has a temple elephant in situ.
Virupaksha Market: Over 700mtrs this area was the longest "street" in old Hampi. Once a bullion and gem market. Still in use today by small shops selling souvenirs (and food for the elephant).
Narshima: Another monolith statue, this time of an incarnation of Vishnu when his incarnation appeared as a creature of half man-half lion. The statue is seated under a 7mtr high stone canopy of a 7-headed snake.
(The) Linga or Jalakanteshwara: At almost 4mtr, this partially submerged emblem of Shiva is a popular wishing spot.
Noblemen's Palace: Foundations of a once splendid half-timber palace, the quarters of high ranking officials.
Underground Temple: A subterranean temple dedicated to Prasanna Virupaksha or the happy Shiva.
(The) Lotus Mahal: A beautiful two story building with archways that acted as air-conditioning.
(The) Elephant Stables: A Hindu/Muslim styled building comprising of a row of 11 royal elephant stables.
Hazara Rama Temple: A well carved royal building with carving that depicts Vishnu as Buddha.
The Queen's Swimming Bath: An interesting building we can all relate to.
Matanga Hill: A late afternoon climb to the top of the highest point within old Hampi, up a granite stairway that should not be attempted by anyone with leg, hip, heart or breathing problems.
Day 3: An early walk along the River Tungabhadra river and through to Hampi market.
Return by rail to Goa.
For your visit to Hampi, India - Site of The Vijayanagara ruins, you will need:
Good walking shoes - for obvious reasons.
A hat to protect you from the mid-day sun.
Insect repellent especially near the river.
Camera(s) - Take two just in case! Plenty of film or at least 1Gigabyte card and spare battery.
Bino's, if you like bird watching - there are some beauties.
Small torch for those dark little corners of temples!
Carry water for you and sweets, biro's or pencils for the local kids - Do not give them money! They won't go to school if begging pays!
Some small notes for camera / entrance fees and tips for the guide, driver and crew!
1Coins for the "wishing" Linga and the (few and far between) toilets
Hampi is a village in northern Karnataka state, India. The name is derived from Pampa, which is the old name of the Tungabhadra River on whose banks the city is built.
Hampi is located within the ruins of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara empire. Possibly predating the city of Vijayanagara, this village continues to be an important religious centre, housing the Virupaksha Temple.
The village of Hampi contains several other monuments belonging to the old city. It extends into some of the old ceremonial streets of Vijayanagara. As the village is at the original centre of Vijayanagara, it is sometimes confused with this ruined city.
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